Review – FVZA #3

With FVZA #3, the three-part series comes to a very satisfying conclusion. Given how many books, movies, games and comics come to an end in a rather lackluster fashion this issue gave me a new appreciation for David Hine and his writing in this story. The art by Roy Allan Martinez and Wayne Nichols is also excellent. The first two books established the main characters and explained a bit about the history of the agency and the current threat facing the United States. For those of you that didn’t catch the last two reviews, FVZA stands for the Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency. Dr. Hugo Pecos is one of the original executives of the agency and has been called out of retirement. He has trained his two grandchildren, Landra and Vidal, to be fighters on the front lines of the agency. While there Landra meets and becomes involved with another star pupil of the agency named Casey and that relationship ends up being critical in the way everything plays out. The elder vampire in charge of the current cell working in the USA is Yaelis, and she has a plan to cripple country. In order to carry this out she will have to deal with a rather pesky second in command named Chaucer, who has little love for games and subterfuge and seems more content to dive into things head first and let the bodies fall where they may. Read on to get my thoughts on what made this an extremely successful miniseries. The original events leading to the FVZA being reopened under the command of Dr. Pecos is a zombie outbreak in a town. One of the only disappointing aspects of this series was that zombies started off as a major component along with vampires, but then faded quickly from the picture and played little to no part in the final outcome. While I understand that zombies don’t have the ability to think and plot out complicated schemes like vampires can, it would have been nice to see a little more of them in the finale. In the grand scheme of things this is a minor issue I have as everything else is great. So what did I like about this series? The story for one was perfectly paced for a three part series. It had just the right mix of action, gore and violence you’d expect from a book revolving around a federal agency fighting zombies and vampires. Some of the interrogations are just brutal and when a vampire gets its hands on you there is no slow death in this series. I also really liked the return here of vampires being terrifying creatures akin to those you see in 30 Days of Night. Aren’t vampires supposed to be dark terrifying creatures? The whole Twilight/Interview with a Vampire (Lestat) sex symbol vampire never appealed to me (even though I enjoyed Interview as a movie). The artwork perfectly reflects vampires as something frightening and I appreciated that. Despite that, the ruthless tactics of the FVZA were almost more frightening, and I also enjoyed the idea of feeling bad for a bunch of vampires and zombies because of the tactics they use. The other main storytelling method that I always enjoy, even if it is a common one, was the closure you get from ending a series right where it started. When you do the whole story as a flashback you can really tie everything up to bring it back to where you started. This series does a nice job of pulling everything together while really leaving only one loose end, not a big one though, and then giving some closure at the end. There were a few little twists and turns that gave little surprises that kept me invested right up until the end. At no point did I feel like I already knew what was going to happen and lose interest. Once again Radical Comics has put out a title that I enjoyed thoroughly from start to finish. It is hard to get more bang for your buck then these longer then usual comics just chock full of good artwork and writing. If you haven’t picked up FVZA #1 and FVZA #2 go ahead and get them from stores or Radical’s website now and get FVZA #3 when it hits shelves. If you are intrigued by a tale involved an alternative history in the United States as it might have been had vampires and zombies played a major role, or you just enjoy a smartly written and wonderfully drawn tale of blood, violence and human nature in the face of something inhuman you won’t be disappointed.